Educators score big end-of-year wins

NEA’s advocacy continues to make a difference for students and educators across the nation. And your activism and outreach to Members has been an integral part of that process. Last week’s legislative achievements are proof.

Below are various funding highlights, but one of our biggest achievements is the full repeal of the 40 percent excise tax on “high cost” employer-sponsored health plans scheduled to take effect in 2022; the effective date had already been postponed twice.  Once in effect, insurance companies would pay the tax, but the burden would be borne by the 180 million Americans with employer-sponsored health coverage—including many educators—in the form of benefit reductions, higher deductibles, or both.

Funding highlights:

  • FY 2020 Funding Bill:
    • $450-million increase for Title I grants
    • $410-million increase for IDEA
    • Increase to $25 million funding for full-service community schools, 43 percent higher than last year’s funding level
    • $550-million increase for Head Start
    • Provides $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health for research on gun violence as a public health issue—the first time since 1996 that Congress has funded such research
    • Provides $7.6 billion to the Census Bureau to ensure all people are counted in the 2020 Census
    • Extends for two years the Secure Rural Schools Act, which expired at the end of 2018
    • Raises by 3.1 percent pay for educators on military bases and other civilian federal employees
    • Rejects the Trump/DeVos efforts to cut education funding by $7.4 billion and rejects their plan to expand federal funding for private-school vouchers
  • National Defense Authorization Act: Reverses a provision in the tax law of 2017 that treated as taxable income the moving expenses of federal civilian employees working overseas and provides 12 weeks of paid leave after birthing, adopting, or fostering a child

These achievements underscore the importance of our engagement in the issues that matter to communities across the nation.

45 responses to “Educators score big end-of-year wins

  1. Seems the more $$$ in education, the lower test scores go. Pay education less , and let teachers educate. Go back to teaching writing, history, math etc. Use computers less, group projects less. Have textbooks and cover material in an organized way. Don’t try to mold children to accept liberal ideas. Stop bullying.

  2. As long as our military budget is larger than all democracies in the world x3, how is this a win? 713trillion on military is a gross injustice. NEA needs to understand that these are crumbs considering how much the military was increased in this budget….over 100 trillion! This is not a win, these millions are crumbs of the budget, cmon.

  3. This is great news for educators shared by educators, but it is necessary to get the word out to the public to educate them as to the assault on public education and how their school’s funds are being diverted to charters. Instead of them blaming their school district for not being ‘fiscally responsible’ when asking for a levy they should be demanding states fund them appropriately. That is our fault for assuming the public knows how schools are underfunded. We must get the word out. Again, good job, but there’s plenty more to do

  4. Was an increase of Pensions addressed for Teachers who have been retired for 20, 25, 30 years. I don’t think so …??? Why not? Ohio voted that they would be no increases for FIVE years three years ago…. deplorable! COLA should be addressed. Teachers Pensions are pitiful. If you really care PLEASE do something about it!

  5. Great job! Please continue to focus on the great injustice done to retiring teachers in penalizing them $400 per month on Social Security they have already EARNED just because they now teach school. Others are not required to pay this penalty.

    1. Secure pensions for teachers. Please push hard to fix the pension offset (GPO) and windfall (WEP). Most teachers don’t even know about this hit until they are close to retirement age and there is no other options. It seems to only affect certain states. That’s a double injustice! Please make passing the Social Security Fairness Act a priority for 2020.

    2. Even more if they were previously self employed and paid SE tax! I thought we wanted successful people with experience to consider education as a second career.

  6. NEA would do well to advocate for the REMOVAL of GUN-FREE zones.
    More than 97% of the mass shootings have occurred in GUN-FREE zones, both schools and elslewhere.
    WHY would you advocate for “sitting ducks” who CANNOT defend themselves if a shooter should appear??

    1. I completely agree. Churches and some rural school districts have developed plans to arm teacher and staff; following in-depth training.
      The only ones not armed in a “gun free” zone are the law abiding citizens, the criminals don’t follow the law; this why they are criminals.

    2. School is not a place for guns. Amateurs who practice on targets but don’t have frequent TACTICAL training have no business using guns.

  7. It shows what we can do when we work together to bring needs for suppor of student’s education and needs of support for teachers to wider public attention to bring needed increased support.

    Let’s keep organizing and doing what we can to bring public attention to problems of teachers paying for materials for educational needs of students rather than schools having needed funds and the needs for teachers to be better supported themselves.

    1. My first major concern is the mental health of our students. We need to involve the community of professional to reach out to schools and communities with there professional skills. Our students and teachers are in mental crisis. We can’t move forward if we face severe PTSD, depression, suicidal thoughts, and violence.
      We all need to reach out to our parents and community to be sure they fill out the 2020 census. It will help fund all communities especially our immigrate population without risk to undocumented citizens.
      We must have a strong grassroots movement in our communities to elect representatives who will work towards finding communities rather than corporations.
      Your work in NEA is stellar; however we all need to get out there and advocate for change.

    2. Way to go. I hope there are some actions you can take to emphasize the importance of curriculum that teaches constitutional history and the excitement of engaging in the political process. Thank you all for your efforts.

  8. Fantastic. We have to make sure that Children are a priority no matter who they are or where they live.

  9. Is this passed through the house and senate? Great job! Is there a reason title 1 is all or nothing? Our middle school missed the count by 30 students out of 1175 students and now we are struggling to provide the services needed next year. I an wondering the pros and cons of a tiered system.

    1. Can we get this funding without the Senate? Please kick out “do nothing” McConnell & other Senate Republicans who are stopping the great work in the House!
      Glad there were signs of movement & even bipartisan bills in the Senate.

    2. It shows what we can do when we work together to bring needs for suppor of student’s education and needs of support for teachers to wider public attention to bring needed increased support.

      Let’s keep organizing and doing what we can to bring public attention to problems of teachers paying for materials for educational needs of students rather than schools having needed funds and the needs for teachers to be better supported themselves.

  10. As a member of IEA-Retired I try to keep up politically.
    In Illinois we have achieved some victories for education and I am thrilled
    at the achievements on the national level as well.
    Thank you for all your hard work.

  11. It’s great to see that Congress has been doing it’s job in addition to Impeaching Trump. It just shows that they can govern and chew gum at the same time. If these bills now have to be sent to the Senate for approval, we’ll need to hold our breath and hope they get up enough courage to do the right thing.
    Nothing is over until McConnell is REMOVED!

  12. Illinois educators must get SS benefits as well as TRS if we contributed. Let’s make this a priority in 2020.

  13. Good work! Now let’s get the Illinois Educators windfall back. We deserve our SS benefits. We earned them.

  14. 2020 – Special Interests vs The Voters (Election re Sovereignty)

    Explicitly, show how specific Special Interest Donors are directly underming societal well being: Healthcare/pharmaceutical Corps (increasing costs & decreasing access), Wall Street undermining social security and other retirement vehicles (replacing pensions with 401K’s for the enrichment of stockbrokers), anti-union advocates (reducing the share of wealth created by workers going to workers – instead of going to tax free havens – inflating stock prices with out investing in the consumers who fuel a consumer driven economy), ect . . . .

    Adam Smith described Capitalism as the Science of Wealth Creation (not a form of political governing) (1776). He pointed out its political manipulation by those who make a living by profit will reduce Wealth Creation to weaken a society.

    Excerpt From: Smith, Adam. “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.” Feedbooks, 1776. iBooks. Pages 839-847
    This material may be protected by copyright.

    “The whole annual produce of the land and labour of every country naturally divides itself into three parts; the rent of land, the wages of labour, and the profits of stock; and constitutes a revenue to three different orders of people; to those who live by rent, to those who live by wages, and to those who live by profit.”

    “The interest of the second order, that of those who live by wages, is as strictly connected with the interest of the society as that of the first. The wages of the labourer, it has already been shown, are never so high as when the demand for labour is continually rising, or when the quantity employed is every year increasing considerably. When this real wealth of the society becomes stationary, his wages are soon reduced to what is barely enough to enable him to bring up a family, or to continue the race of labourers. When the society declines, they fall even below this. The order of proprietors may, perhaps, gain more by the prosperity of the society than that of labourers: but there is no order that suffers so cruelly from its decline. But though the interest of the labourer is strictly connected with that of the society,”

    “The third order, that of those who live by profit. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived”


    Campaign Contributions from non-voters yields the government of, by, and for the Royal Crown and its Corps the Dream of the 1776 Declaration of Independence desired to break from. We have regressed back to our pre-1776 status of taxation without representation /;-(

  15. Thanks and kudos! I had no idea that you were so successful in righting some wrongs and helping our teachers and public schools and Headstart and civilian federal workers abroad. I had heard that finally there will be government funded research into gun violence. I had not heard about the huge chunk to do the census right. One of your greatest accomplishments was to defeat Betsy devoss who should not still be in office.

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